When it comes down to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competition, it doesn’t get any more official than an IBJJF tournament. The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is a company that hosts several of the largest BJJ grappling tournaments in the world. It’s where the most serious BJJ athletes come together to compete against the best.
One of the things that IBJJF is widely known for is their ruleset. They have very strict guidelines when it comes down to their rules and regulations. That includes their BJJ Gi Uniforms. They have to pass a minimum standard in order to be qualified to compete.
But how do you know if your BJJ Gi is IBJJF competition legal? In this guide we take a look at the IBJJF Approved Gi Uniform Regulations to make sure you are competition ready when you step onto those mats!
Fabric and Material
Your Gi should be constructed with a cotton material or something similar to qualify for IBJJF uniform regulations. Some Gi’s can be made up of a cotton blend like a cotton-polyester or cotton-ripstop. You should be fine with these as long as they have a “cotton-like” feel to them. As long as you are able to properly grip the material, you should be good.
For Juvenile, Adults, and Masters divisions, it is required that you have your Gi made up of woven fabric (Pearl Weaves, Single Weaves, Double Weaves, Gold Weaves, etc).
Some Gi uniforms have a specialized EVA foam construct in their collar. This allows for a rubberized feel to the collar for improved durability and improved gripping. This is perfectly fine as long as the collar rigidity and size passes the minimum measurement requirements.
The Gi uniform color is strictly enforced in an official IBJJF tournament. An IBJJF approved Gi uniform requires your Gi to be in traditional BJJ colors only.
You are only allowed to wear white, royal blue, or black.
Painted Gis are forbidden. You might get away with it if the paint somehow signifies your school in some way. But it certainly isn’t allowed to paint your entire Gi to match the IBJJF approved Gi colors.
Keep in mind that some Gi manufacturers try to get a trendy look to your Gi, providing different colors like green, dark navy, or pink. You might get away with it in some other competition organizations, but these are absolutely NOT allowed in an IBJJF tournament. Some even have different colors for your collar and the rest of your Gi jacket. This isn’t allowed either! Keep it classic!
And as for mixing and matching colors for your Gi top and your Gi trousers? Don’t. Your uniform should match in color to be qualified to be an IBJJF approved Gi.
Gi Length Measurement
Probably the strictest guidelines that IBJJF has is their Gi length measurements. In order to qualify as an “IBJJF approved Gi uniform” it must pass several measurement tests.
Sleeve Length Requirements
With your arms fully extended in front of you, the end of your sleeves should be no more than 2 inches from your wrist joint.
There must be adequate space inside the opening of your sleeves. With your arms extended out to your side, there must be at least about 2.75 inches of slack from the bottom of your sleeve to the top your arm.
Gi Trousers Length Requirements
Your Gi pants should be long enough so that the end of the bottom end of the trousers is less than 2 inches from the ankle joint.
Similar to the Gi sleeves, there must be enough slack inside your trousers. There must be at least 2.75 inches of slack measured from the shin bone to the front of the pants.
Gi Collar Thickness and Width
The thickness of the collar and the width are also measured to determine if your Gi is IBBJ approved. The Gi collar should only be about 2 inches wide at most. It can have a max thickness of 0.5 inches.
For the actual measurements, you typically are measured right after you weigh-in. Once you pass your weigh-in, an IBJJF official will measure your Gi Uniform with a set of IBJJF Gi Calipers. These calipers are simply a gage that will measure several of the length and thickness requirements previously mentioned.
Officials can be extremely strict especially in an official IBJJF competition. Make sure you have the appropriate attire when you get measured! You don’t want to be sent home packing for something silly like a Gi length violation!
BJJ Gi Patches
Gi patches are allowed when it comes to competition. However, you should follow the guidelines on the proper placement. Here’s a picture of where the patches should be laid out on your uniform:
The patches themselves should be made out of a cotton material and sewed on with a seam around the borders.
Your patches shouldn’t be too stiff either. If they give your opponents trouble gripping your Gi uniform, you might not be allowed to use it in competition. Any unfair disadvantage your Gi causes will disqualify it immediately.
No patches or text allowed that contains phrases or symbols that promote violence, vandalism, drugs, or anything inappropriate. Keep it professional! Anything related to political ideologies that can be found offensive to gender, ethnicity, or religion is strictly prohibited.
BJJ competitors should use a belt that isn’t too short or too long. The belt should be about 4 – 5 cm wide and colored according to the athlete’s rank. The belt should have a black tip for colored belts and a red tip for black belts.
Your belt should have an adequate length. It should be worn over the top and wrap around your waist twice. The belt must be tied using a double knot tight enough to hold your Gi uniform in place. Once tied, each end of the belt should hang down roughly around 20 to 30 cm in length.
BJJ Gi Conditions
It goes without saying that your Gi uniform has to be in good condition to qualify for an IBJJF tournament. It can’t have too much excessive wear. The Gi shouldn’t have frayed stitching or patches coming off of your uniform.
And also, no stinky Gi’s! Your Gi can’t be dirty, wet, or emit a nasty odor. Keep your Gi’s clean!
Some other things to consider are your undergarments. In an IBJJF tournament, men aren’t allowed to wear a top underneath your Gi jacket. For women, it is mandatory to wear a stretch elastic top underneath the jacket. The elastic shirt can be either long or short sleeves.
Wearing pants, spats, or shorts underneath the trousers is prohibited for men. Only brief-type undergarments are allowed. Women do have the option of wearing elastic pants underneath just as long as the length is shorter than the actual Gi Trousers.
For more details on uniform regulations or any other rules in general, you can review the information in detail from the IBJJF Rule Book.
As you can tell, an IBJJF competition is as official as it gets. They are extremely strict when it comes to their rules. For your Gi to be considered an IBJJF Approved Gi Uniform, it must follow several set criteria. Make sure you follow these set guidelines to ensure your Gi uniform is qualified. The last thing you want is to be sent packing for a uniform disqualification!